Saturday, 31 August 2019

Food & Liquor, Toronto, ON

I wasn't sure what I felt like for supper so walked along Queen Street W in Parkdale, waiting for a restaurant to catch my eye.  I ended up having supper at Food & Liquor.  I've never been there before but apparently it's been there for about six years.

I sat at the table by the window.

Jessie, the bartender, recommended the Double Smoked Bacon, egg, corn & cheese fried rice.  Yes, it sounds weird and it was.  But it was good and hearty.  I found it a bit too salty, though.  Next time I'd get it with chicken rather than the bacon (I'm assuming that's where the salt came from).

Jessie was friendly and chatty and took good care of me.

Food & Liquor Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Toronto Wolfpack 62, Barrow Raiders 8, Lamport Stadium, Toronto, ON

The Toronto Wolfpack RLFC is a Canadian professional rugby league club, based in here Toronto, which competes in the British Rugby Football League system.  In 2018, the club competed in the Championship, having begun to play in 2017 in League 1 and won a promotion in its inaugural season.  Gord and I have been going to the most of the games since 2017 and have been season ticket holders for the last two years.

The club is noted as being the first North American team to play in the Rugby Football League system, the first fully professional rugby league team in Canada and the world's first transatlantic rugby league team.  Their home stadium is Lamport Stadium (aka "The Den"), which is just a couple blocks from where Gord and I live.

Today the Wolfpack were playing the Barrow Raiders.  Going into today's game, the Wolfpack was in first place with just one loss and Rochdale was in second last place with just four wins.

Everyone loves Jefferson, the Wolfpack mascot.  He was mingling outside the stadium before the game.

The guitar player who riffs when the Wolfpack scores was also outside the stadium.

It was Forces and Families Day and members of the Canadian Forces were there.

Gord had some family stuff to take care of so I went solo.

The Wolfpack Dance Squad entertained.

Happy 17th anniversary, Sister Sarah and Joey

Sister Sarah and Joey got married 17 years ago today ... in a lovely park in Halifax, NS!

Friday, 30 August 2019

Book ~ "Turbulence" (2019) David Szalay

From Goodreads ~ Twelve people on the move around planet Earth, twelve individual lives, each in turmoil, and each in some way touching the next.

In this nuanced and deeply moving sequence, David Szalay’s diverse protagonists circumnavigate the world in twelve plane journeys, from London to Madrid, from Dakar to Sao Paulo, to Toronto, to Delhi, to Doha, en route to see lovers and parents, children and siblings, or nobody at all.

Along the way, Szalay deftly depicts the ripple effect that, knowingly or otherwise, a person’s actions have on those around them, and invites us to consider our own place in the vast and delicately balanced network of human relationships that is the world we live in today.

These are the stories of twelve people around the world, each with their own chapter, who are connected in some way.  Each has some "turbulence" going on in their lives.

The book begins with an elderly mother who has just spent time with her adult son who lives in London.  He has prostate cancer and she was there for him while he went through chemo.  On her flight home to Spain, she sits next to a father who is heading home and discovers there has been an accident involving a taxi.  The story then picks up with a passenger who was in that taxi who ended up running late for his flight because of the accident.  The next story involves the pilot of that flight.  And so on.

This is the first book I've read by this author and I liked it.  It was a curious concept and it was interesting to see how the author linked one person to the next.  It's written in third person perspective with a focus on whose ever story/chapter it was.  I like the writing style and it was a quick read.

Thursday, 29 August 2019

Ghosts & Grenadiers - Tales of the Howards in High Park, Toronto, ON

This evening Gord and I attended Ghosts & Grenadiers - Tales of the Howards in High Park, an event offered by Colborne Lodge and Toronto's Historic Sites (operated by the City of Toronto) in High Park.

Come on a twilight walk and hear some little-known stories of High Park. Costumed staff guide visitors through the south end of the park pointing out natural features and sharing offbeat stories like the escape of the capybaras from the High Park Zoo and a strange dark figure who lurks by the High Park gates. Learn about the natural features of the park and how they've changed over thousands of years.The tour concludes with behind-the-scenes ghost stories and a Victorian fruit drink inside Colborne Lodge. 

John George Howard was an architect, engineer, and prominent Toronto citizen originally from England.  In 1836, he purchased 160 acres to the west of Toronto and built his country cottage, Colborne Lodge, and eventually moved there permanently.  In 1873, Howard bequeathed the property to the City of Toronto as an urban park.  There were several conditions including that he and his wife, Jemima, could continue to live at their residence, no alcohol ever be served in the park (still true to this day) and that the city hold the park "for the free use, benefit and enjoyment of the Citizens of Toronto for ever and to be called and designated at all times thereafter High Park".  Eventually more land was purchased by the City to be added to High Park (it's now 398 acres).

We started across from Grenadier Cafe.  Our hosts were Kaitlyn and Alice, who told stories about the Howards and High Park as we headed down the paths to Grenadier Pond.

The first couple of times I tried to take this picture, I kept getting
the round red circle to the left of Alice.  A spirit perhaps?
Then suddenly it was gone!

Wednesday, 28 August 2019

Bar Poet, Toronto, ON

Gord and I had supper this evening at Bar Poet  in our 'hood (on Queen Street W at Dovercourt Road) ... it just opened a couple weeks ago in what used to be Church Aperitivo Bar and before that a Slavic Pentecostal Church.

Monday, 26 August 2019

Book ~ "All Grown Up" (2017) Jami Attenberg

From Goodreads ~ Who is Andrea Bern? When her therapist asks the question, Andrea knows the right things to say: she’s a designer, a friend, a daughter, a sister. But it’s what she leaves unsaid - she’s alone, a drinker, a former artist, a shrieker in bed, captain of the sinking ship that is her flesh - that feels the most true. 

Everyone around her seems to have an entirely different idea of what it means to be an adult: her best friend, Indigo, is getting married; her brother - who miraculously seems unscathed by their shared tumultuous childhood - and sister-in-law are having a hoped-for baby; and her friend Matthew continues to wholly devote himself to making dark paintings at the cost of being flat broke.

But when Andrea’s niece finally arrives, born with a heartbreaking ailment, the Bern family is forced to reexamine what really matters. Will this drive them together or tear them apart? 

Andrea is soon going to be forty.  She lives alone in New York ... her mother has recently moved to New Hampshire to live with Andrea's brother and his wife to help them care for their disabled daughter who isn't expected to live much longer.  Andrea is still carrying around the emotional baggage of her father passing away when she was in her mid-teens of a heroin overdose and afterwards her mother having parties with just men in attendance who would get creepy with Andrea while her mother did nothing about it.  Artistic when she was younger, Andrea is in a job she hates, waiting and hoping to get fired.  She drinks too much, does drugs and sleeps with any man that comes along.

Sounds like a depressing story, right?  Well, it was.  The writing style for of the book was dark and depressing too.  The book didn't have a natural flow ... it seemed like each chapter was Andrea telling a rambling story.  For example, she talked about Matthew, a guy she was seeing, and their relationship.  Then a couple chapters later, she mentioned Matthew, who was a guy she'd been seeing.  Yes, I know who he is ... I read about him a couple chapters ago ... you don't have to tell me he's an ex-boyfriend.  As a head's up, there is swearing.

Andrea is not likeable.  Rather than fixing what's wrong in her life, she continues to plod along and feel sorry for herself.  The title is misleading as Andrea is not "all grown up" ... at forty years old, she has a lot of growing up to do.  None of the characters are especially likable.

Maurya East Indian Roti, Toronto, ON

I had lunch today at Maurya East Indian Roti in Liberty Village.  I've been wanting to check it out for a while.

It was such a nice day so I sat on the patio.

I ordered a boneless chicken roti.  I love love love chicken rotis and this was a good one.  The roti itself was nice and thin.  The sauce was good and I'm glad I got it mild as there was a bit of a kick to it.  I'd get it again.

Sunday, 25 August 2019

Beer, Bourbon & BBQ, Ontario Place, Toronto, ON

The third annual Beer, Bourbon & BBQ festival was happening this weekend at Ontario Place and Gord and I got tickets for today.

Fire up the BBQ & join us for a one of a kind, social summer experience featuring one of the most celebrated forms of cooking. Enjoy craft beers & bourbon cocktails while listening to live country music, line dancing & riding the mechanical bull!

We'd bought 2 - for - 1 tickets a couple weeks ago and paid about $8 each.  If you wanted drinks or food, you bought tickets.

Saturday, 24 August 2019

Canadian National Exhibition (CNE), Toronto, ON

The CNE is on now until after Labour Day.

The Canadian National Exhibition (CNE), also known as The Ex, is an annual event that takes place at Exhibition Place in Toronto, during the 18 days leading up to and including Labour Day Monday. 

With approximately 1.3 million visitors each year, the CNE is Canada’s largest annual fair and the seventh largest in North America. The first Canadian National Exhibition took place in 1879, largely to promote agriculture and technology in Canada. Agriculturists, engineers, and scientists exhibited their discoveries and inventions at the CNE to showcase the work and talent of the nation. As Canada has grown as a nation, the CNE has also changed over time, reflecting the growth in diversity and innovation, though agriculture and technology remain a large part of the CNE today.

The Cat Show is at the CNE this weekend.  I volunteer with the Annex Cat Rescue, who had a table there and Gord and I were on the morning shift.

Thursday, 22 August 2019

Prairie Ink Restaurant, Winnipeg, MB

I had lunch today at Prairie Ink Restaurant in Grant Park Mall with my client ... it is in McNally Robinson Booksellers, which has a lot of cool things in addition to books.

I ordered Bake Mac n' Cheese (minus the parmesan crust).  I swapped the salad for the soup of the day (chicken and barley).  When my meal arrived, I was surprised to see the salad but started eating some of it.  When Joseph, our server, realized that I'd received a salad instead of the soup, he offered to make it right by bringing the soup.  I'm not a fan of salads but said not to worry about it.  The mac n' cheese was delicious ... I don't order mac n' cheese very often and this was the best mac n' cheese EVER!!  I could have eaten more more more of this!

Joseph was friendly and nice and took good care of us.

Prairie Ink Restaurant Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Holiday Inn & Suites Winnipeg - Downtown, Winnipeg, MB

I have been in Winnipeg since Tuesday and stayed at the Holiday Inn & Suites downtown ... it's on the corner of Colony and Portage.

Here was my suite ...

The bed was comfy

The room had WIFI, which was inconsistent Tuesday evening but was fairly speedy yesterday and this morning. There was a mini fridge, microwave oven and Keurig in-room brewer with coffee and tea.  The TV seemed to have a mind of its own and would turn off for no reason.  And the time on the clock in the bedroom was off by nine minutes and I couldn't figure out how to put it on the right time.  I would think that this is something Housekeeping would ensure was correct.

There is a restaurant in the lobby that is open for breakfast and supper.  There are lots of restaurants and things to do within walking distance.

Parking is available in a parkade and is $15 a night.